Sunday, January 31, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Pizza . . . WHAT!?

Yeah that's right. Everything you love about buffalo wings only on a pizza crust. There's not much more to say about that.
Warning: Not really a recipe
Warning: It's really easy
Warning: You may eat the entire thing by yourself

I used Trader Joes whole wheat pizza crust and just followed the instructions on the bag. I poached a boneless skinless chicken breast and shredded the meat but you could use leftover bbq chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken. Whatever tickles your fancy. Once your meat is shredded you must bathe it in this . . .
This my friends is Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing sauce. Not the actual hot sauce but specifically to use on wings. So pour enough of this on your chicken to coat it. Trust me on this.

For the sauce I used bottled blue cheese dressing but you could use ranch if you're not into blue cheese. But if you're not into blue cheese you probably should stop reading my blog because I really heart blue cheese. Well, really any cheese. But that's another subject.

Back to the pizza, I topped the blue cheese dressing with shredded mozarella and topped that with red onions and the chicken. If I would've had crumbled blue cheese on hand I would've put that on too.

I pre-bake the pizza crust for about 3-5 minutes before I top it just to make sure the crust gets cooked all the way through. And to give it a crispier crust on the bottom I put it straight onto the oven rack for the last 5 minutes or so.

I'm pretty sure Adria liked it and you will too.

If you like pizza, and buffalo wings, and blue cheese.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Is January over yet?

So I'm on day 20 of a month long commitment not to eat sugar or white flour. No, I haven't gone crazy, any more than normal, I just wanted to see if I could stick to it with the hopes that it would make me feel better and help jump start my goal to loose a few pounds. I've done pretty good and haven't had too many cravings, but I definitely haven't been baking as much which I do miss. So I'm gonna post a recipe I made a few months ago and just pretend like I made it this morning and am currently eating it (I'm pretending my carrot sticks are a muffin. Maybe I am going crazy) with a nice cup of hot coffee. Dream with me.

I really, really loved these muffins. They were very moist and doughnut-like with a great flavor. Not to mention they're rolled in butter and powdered sugar. Again I ask, Is January over yet?

Nutmeg Doughnut Muffins

For muffins:
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
Scant 1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
¾ cup plus 1 Tbs whole milk
2 Tbs buttermilk
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs granulated sugar
2 large eggs

For topping:
4 - 6 Tbs unsalted butter
1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set a rack to the middle position. Spray a standard-size muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, and whisk to mix them thoroughly. Set aside.

Combine the milk and the buttermilk in a measuring cup, and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or, alternatively, in a large mixing bowl with electric beaters nearby), and beat on medium speed for a few seconds, until the butter is soft and creamy. With the motor running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until the mixture increases in volume and lightens to pale yellow. It should look light, fluffy, and wonderfully creamy, like frosting. This could take a couple of minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until they are just combined.

With a wooden spoon, mix ¼ of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add 1/3 of the milk mixture. Continue to add the dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dries. Mix until the dough is smooth and well combined, but do not overmix.

Divide the batter between the cups of the muffin tin. Bake until the muffins are firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-32 minutes.

When the muffins are cool enough to handle, prepare the topping: melt the butter in the microwave or on the stovetop, and pour the powdered sugar into a deep bowl. Using a pastry brush and working one muffin at a time, lightly brush the entire outside of the muffin with butter, and then roll it in the powdered sugar. Shake off any excess, and place the finished muffins on a rack or serving platter. Serve.

Note: These muffins are best on the day that they’re made, but they’re still awfully good on the second day—much better than the usual day-old muffin or stale doughnut. And for those who like advance planning, also note that this batter keeps, covered and chilled, for up to three days.

Yield: 12 muffins

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Favorite Day of the Year

No, it's not my birthday, Valentine's day, my anniversary (don't tell Ryan), or even President's Day (hard to believe, I know). My favorite day of the year is a day when I wait all day long, anticipating and fasting for what is now known as The Winter Solstice dinner. It used to be The Christmas Dinner for the last few years, but with Christmas and babies being born all over the place it's been pushed towards the beginning of January, hence Winter Solstice. But really, why get tripped up on the name. It's really all about the food and fellowship! But mostly the food.

Hillary and Kevin do an amazing job of putting on this dinner, prepping for it for months ahead of time and giving a lot of time and energy to make it, well, my favorite night of the year. The decor this year was beautiful with hanging tea lights and an amazing planter box the length of the table filled with Gerber daises.

I anticipate all year long what the menu will consist of (I know, get a life) and this year definitely didn't dissapoint!
The night started with a Bleeding Orange Martini, rimmed with winter spiced sugar.

4 Types of Salt

the menu in order of the courses
Salmon Tartare

Hominy tortillas with avacado butter

Farmers market greens with smoked trout and apple

Lobster risotto with dungeness crab
Definitely my favorite!!

The three little pigs
pork/prosciutto three ways

Butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage

Lilmoncello granitas
to cleanse the pallet and to rock my world

Pork confit with braised leeks and crispy potatoes
So tender and delicious! The only one my flash worked on?
Trio of panna cotta: pomegranate, 50/50 and

some of the crazy people who were there:)

Already counting down the days till next year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Years Resolution

So, I made a few new years resolutions for 2010. Something I halfheartedly do every year knowing full well they probably won't last but praying for the best. But this year I'm hoping to stick to the few I made. One of which is to plan and plant my own garden which I've never done before. Usually I just reap the harvests of Farmer Thomas:) The other resolution is to try and blog once a week. I currently have 4 blogs worth of pictures ranging from November to last Saturday night which is just unacceptable. Mostly cause they clog up the memory on my camera.

Go back with me a month or two to the end of fall, beginning of winter and the need for a good, hearty stew. My girl, The Pioneer Woman showcased one on her blog that I couldn't not make. Mainly because of it's use of crimini mushrooms which I have a slight obs ession with, and beef, and red wine. Need I say more?

Beef Stew With Mushrooms

Prep Time: 25 Minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 8
  • 2 pounds Beef Stew Meat (sirloin Cut Into Cubes)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Shallots, Minced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 8 ounces, weight Cremini Or White Button Mushrooms
  • ½ cups Red Wine
  • ½ cans Beef Consomme
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Pasta - Cooked And Drained
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle flour over meat. Toss to coat.

Melt butter with olive oil in heavy pot. Sear meat over high heat in batches; rem

ove to a plate when brown.

Add shallots and garlic to pan (without cleaning); saute for 2 minutes over medium-low heat.
Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and consomme. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir.
Bring to a boil, then add browned meat. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme sprigs to pot.
Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. After that time, mix 2 tablespoons flour with a little water and pour into the stew. Allow to cook and thicken for ten more minutes.
Turn off heat and allow stew to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

So I few adjustments that I'm going to make next time. The flavor was A-MAZING but the meat was a little tough. I actually put the pan with the leftovers back on the stove for another 45 minutes or so after we ate and the meat was way more tender. So I would increase the cooking time to 1 hour 45 minutes for that first cooking time where it says 30-45 minutes. But the mushrooms and the sauce were so divine that I may or may not have bathed in it later that night:) TMI?